HC issues notice to CBI on bail plea moved by Delhi CM Kejriwal; lists next hearing for July 17

New Delhi, July 5: Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a bail plea moved by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a case connected to the Excise Policy matter.
Kejriwal was arrested by the CBI on June 26 in the case.
The bench of Justice Neena Bansal sought response of the central probe agency in the matter and listed the matter for detail hearing on July 17.
The plea stated that applicant Kejriwal is the national convenor of the national political party (Aam Aadmi Party) and the sitting Chief Minister of Delhi who is being subjected to gross persecution and harassment for wholly malafide and extraneous considerations, is knocking at the doors of this Court seeking regular bail in this case.
He has recently approached the court challenging his illegal arrest as well as the patently routine remand orders passed by the trial court.
The said writ petition had come up for hearing before the Court on July 2 when the court issued notice and listed the matter for hearing on July 17.
Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Vikram Chaudhari and N Hariharan appeared for Arvind Kejriwal in the matter while advocate DP Singh appeared for the Central Bureau of Investigation in the matter.
During the hearing, the CBI Counsel submitted that they have challenged the arrest, it is already pending here. The first court for bail should have been the trial court. There are four chargesheets, the court has been appraised of various material…if this is allowed, it will become a norm, the counsel said
However, Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted that it’s not a case of Section 45. “I am pressing for an interim relief…he’s not a terrorist or something like that. He has deep roots in society and is not at a flight risk, ” Singhvi said.
The Delhi High Court had on Tuesday issued notice to the CBI on a plea moved by Arvind Kejriwal against his arrest by the CBI in the Excise Policy case.
Kejriwal plea submitted that the arrest of the petitioner is in clear violation of the statutory mandate as prescribed under Section 41 and 60A CrPC. The offence alleged against the petitioner has a maximum punishment of seven years and hence compliance of Section 41 and 60A of the CrPC is mandatory and cannot be obviated by the investigating officer. In the present case despite the offence being punishable of seven years, requirement of Section 41A and 60A notice was not adhered by the Investigating officer and hence the arrest of the Petitioner without the compliance of the requirement as mandated under law is illegal and non-est in law.
No proper justification or reasoning was provided for the arrest, especially considering the investigation has been ongoing for two years, stated Arvind Kejriwal in his plea before the Delhi High Court.
Kejriwal’s plea further stated that his arrest was allegedly based on material in CBI’s possession before June 4, adding that arrest on previously available material is illegal as it involves re-evaluation, which is not permitted by law.
The Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi on June 29, sent Delhi Chief Minister to Judicial custody in connection with the Excise policy case.
The CBI alleged that during the police custody remand, the accused, Arvind Kejriwal, has been examined/ interrogated. However, he did not cooperate with the investigation and deliberately gave evasive replies contrary to the evidence on record.
On being confronted with the evidence, he did not give a proper and truthful explanation regarding the enhancement of the profit margin for wholesalers from 5 per cent to 12 per cent under new Excise Policy of Delhi 2021-22, without any study or justification, said CBI.
He also could not explain as to why during the peak of second wave of Covid, the Cabinet approval for a revised Excise Policy was hurriedly obtained through circulation within 1 day, when the accused persons of the South Group were camping in Delhi and holding meetings with his close associate Vijay Nair, CBI said.
He evaded the questions regarding the meetings of his associate Vijay Nair with various stakeholders of liquor business in Delhi and demanded illegal gratification from them for favorable provisions in the upcoming Excise Policy, the CBI added.
He also could not give a proper explanation regarding his meeting with Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, accused Arjun Pandey, and accused Mootha Gautham of India Ahead News. He also evaded questions regarding the transfer and utilization of ill-gotten money to the tune of Rs 44.54 crore in Goa Assembly Elections by his party during 2021-22, the CBI said.
In the light of aforesaid facts and circumstances, the further custodial interrogation of the accused Arvind Kejriwal is not required at this stage, the CBI said.
CBI alleged that Kejriwal was deliberately and intentionally evading the just and relevant questions related to the case.
Kejriwal, being a prominent politician and Chief Minister of Delhi, is a very influential person, as such, there are credible reasons to believe that Kejriwal may influence the witnesses and evidence already exposed before him during the custodial interrogation and also the potential witnesses, who are yet to be examined, tamper with the evidence to be further collected and may hamper the ongoing investigation, the CBI added.
On June 26, CBI arrested the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Kejriwal after the Vacation Judge of Delhi Court allowed CBI to examine/interrogate him in the courtroom so that the agency could proceed with his formal arrest.
The Delhi High Court recently stayed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s bail order passed by the trial court, saying that the trial court should have at least recorded its satisfaction with the fulfillment of twin conditions of section 45 of Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before passing the impugned order. (Agencies)

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